Microwaves for the Blind

I was preparing lunch today when it occured to me that there is no possible way a blind person could use my microwave, unless they took the time to memorize the EXACT location of each button. It’s a flat keypad (is this the right term) without even a bump to indicate where a particular number is, like on my phone. Besides, instead of the normal 3-buttons per row or the 1/10 second 1/10minute system, mine has 5 buttons in 2 lines. And how to find the popcorn button? :slight_smile:

So my question is, are there braille microwaves? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, and if there are any, to they cost more? If someone is blinded in an accident or something, does this mean they have to get a whole new microwave? Why not make ALL microwaves accessible to the blind?

There are braille overlays available that go over the membrane keypad.


But I assume these would cost more, wouldn’t they? The company’s don’t give them for free? Why should the blind pay more for a microwave? As I said, why not make all microwaves accessible?

AFAIK most manufacturers will send a braille overlay out for free. Why send one with every microwave when the vast majority wouldn’t be needed? I’d assume they don’t just make the keypad braille to begin with for aesthetic reasons, but I don’t know.

A google search on “braille microwave overlay” turned up many hits. Here’s Whirlpool’s site, which offers free overlays, audio instruction tapes, and large-print manuals for their appliances.


G.E. and Whirpool make braille overlays for their appliances, and probably most other manufacturers as well. It’s the kind of thing that would require a call to the manufacturer. The cost of producing the overlay is likely minimal, and although I could not find one for sale on a website, I’m fairly certain that it would be available at little or no cost. In any case, that approach is more cost effective than adding overlays to every microwave.

A natural followup question might be: How do blind people know how long to cook those frozen dinners, anyway? They’re all slightly different.